We weighed in early and positively on the Hold Steady’s Stay Positive. Since then, we’ve had more time to soak-up the lyrics, figure out interconnections, and chart continuing threads from earlier albums. At the end of the day, in the midst of this close listening, “Constructive Summer” remains a personal favorite, but “Yeah Sapphire” and “Magazines” have moved way up in the rankings, as have “Lord, I’m Discouraged” and “Slapped Actress.” (The title track, i.e. the best nostalgia track in recent memory, goes without saying.) Part of our investigation included reading your Premature Evaluation comments, which was kinda like doing research at a Hold Steady-themed library. That said — props in their proper place — those of you who haven’t heard the album in full can now stream the entire thing at the band’s MySpace (thanks for the tip, Kim) and join in the discussion. Stay Positive (and the Hold Steady in general) are largely about community, scenes, people digging in and interacting in both good and bad ways, so take a listen and get thematic.
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